Spring is in the air, and that can only mean one thing – the Turlock Certified Farmers market is preparing for its ninth consecutive season, set to begin April 21.
The market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 13 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. After six years of operation in downtown Turlock, Market Manager Derek Griffin said the TCFM is looking forward to its third season at the fairgrounds.
“The community saw the move to the fairgrounds for what it was and continued to support us, and I think no matter where we go, we’re going to always have that strong community support behind us,” Griffin said.
Fans of the TCFM can expect much of the same experience this year that they’ve come to enjoy in years past, added Griffin. The market expects about 50 sellers on opening day, ranging from fruits and vegetables to dairy and meat. There will be new features at the market this year as well, like six different varieties of certified organic mushrooms, a knife sharpener and a new food truck, The Tri-Tipery. Grass-fed beef will also return to the market this year.
“I’m always looking for something new or different that we can have at the market,” Griffin said. “We didn’t have mushrooms before, and now we do.”
While strawberries will be one fresh fruit that can be found at the market on opening day, Griffin said some farmers fear their crops may not be ready in time due to the late winter and early spring’s strange weather.
“Resendiz Farms is worried about not having enough cold nights, which affects how soon the fruit gets on the tree,” Griffin said. “We got a big onslaught of rain in March, but we didn’t have those cold nights needed to stress those fruits.”
While the selection of fruit may not be as plentiful as usual come opening day at the TCFM, there will be more than enough music. The California Bluegrass Association will be holding its annual Spring Campout that same week, with the culmination of the music festival taking place on the TCFM’s first day.
“We’re going to have different bands playing at the market, or bands rotating all day,” Griffin said. “We’ll also have all of our normal opening day activities, like the kiddie train, the story time tent, face painting and a kids’ craft area.”
The TCFM will open at 8 a.m. April 21, and Griffin expects to see crowds of up to 3,000 to 5,000 people, he said. Parking is located in the west lot off of Soderquist Road, and for more information about the market, visit turlockmarket.org.